It was on my mind to tell you that I’d booked us a meal. We could maybe take a holiday in France this summer; I’d like some peace and quiet and you’ve been working so hard. The kids were coming back from school the other day and my how Olivia is growing. She’ll be as tall as me soon. We get so sidetracked sometimes. There’s no rulebook. Sometimes I think of how we used to be and the laughter we’ve shared. I wanted to tell you that I love you, always will. I’m sorry now it’s… now it’s… now it’s…
In the park the dog was wrestling with a bone. Hey, said the man, throwing a ball into the sky. The dog ran across the frosty grass and the ball soared into the winter blue, rising above the trees. Upwards from the tops of the oaks and birches a bird flew – maybe it was a dove – towards the gold-flecked river; and out in the distance, across the water, was a thin white plume. Aeroplanes. Horizons in Europe, the Indian Ocean, warmer climes, desert sun, heat. The heat – a missile caught in a tragic arc, screeching to earth. Earth, flesh, bone.
xx saw xx xx xxx xxxxxxxx. x thought xx xxx xxxxx xx xx x xxx crash xx cancer. xxx xxxxxx news xxx xxx xxxx harrowing. xxxxxx? Oh xxxx xxx xxxxxxx xx xxxx xxxx another xxx? xxxx xxx xxx xxxxx xxxxx xx xxxxxxxx. xxxxx xxx all xx us, xxx I xxxx. xx xxxxx xxxx shared xxx xxxx xxxxxx. x xxxxx xxxxxxx xxx. xx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxx years ahead xxx. Why xxxxx xxx speak? x xxxxx xxxx listened. xx loved you xx xxxx. XXXX. xxxx xxxxxx xxx xxxx xxxxxxxx. xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xx this? xxxx xxx xx xxxxxxx? xxxx?
I do not remember Franco’s death. The first transatlantic flight of Concorde, perhaps. I remember the coming of Mike Tyson as if it were someone else’s story, not mine. The withdrawal of Thatcher from the leadership race, smothered in feelings of a time and a place…
a bank of television screens in a shop window, baggy jumpers and long hair, oranges for Christmas, a cold dark house where woodlice and mold would triumph…
There is almost nothing. Almost. Nothing to fix a thought upon. No true memory. No one idea. Just a twinge, an ache, that something happened, once was.
Jim fished for imaginary salmon, out in his back garden with a rod and live bait. We watched him and laughed as the line got caught in the fence between his shrubs and the fields.
Jim smoked a pipe and spoke wryly of the old times and how nobody understood his intentions. He always wore a hat.
Jim liked the children to come round on bonfire night with their lanterns made from turnips and bright smiles, but the mothers always moved them on. Jim was eccentric, creepy, strange.
Jim mourned his mother’s death and never got married. Jim died yesterday.
Archeologists discovered signs of large buildings here, perhaps a temple. Remnants of weapons were also found, including traces of what might have been poisons. Certainly battles were fought here. A small camp seems to have existed, with broken pots, pans and temporary shelters found all across the hillside near where a river once flowed. We can only guess what calamity wiped out all of those who lived in those times, and at the extent of the destruction, but, what we do know, is that it was the end of an era – of an empire – and of the start of another.
‘Pipes’ connect countless channels of overflow from East to West, Agencies say. Politicians have dubbed it a ‘super sewer’ and ‘filtrations’ are due to commence – the cost already upwards of £400m.
A communication from a group calling itself Stop the Shaft claimed, using Securities language, that the channels were only responsible for a tiny proportion of ‘human waste’ dumped into the ‘river of humanity’. The cost to the taxpayer is unjustifiable, they said, and the cost to Rights…
Agencies said the claims were ‘misleading’ and joked that the rest of the world would be ‘piped’ to hit their latest target.